Sri Lanka asks World Bank to fund highway to Jaffna

April 08, 2008 (LBO) – Sri Lanka has asked the World Bank to fund a highway to the northern Jaffna peninsular, which is now cut off from the rest of the island by a stretch of land held by Tamil Tiger guerrillas, a top official said. The A-9 highway starts from Kandy in the central part of the island and goes to Jaffna town in the north.

“We have asked the World Bank to fund the A-9 highway,” Treasury Secretary P B Jayasundera said Tuesday at the launch of the annual report of the country’s central bank.

“We do not need money to reduce poverty. We can do that ourselves. But we need money for infrastructure.”

Jayasundera said Sri Lanka now had a per capita gross domestic product (GDP) of 1600 US dollars putting it in the middle income category and the country was now making its own decisions.

“On energy subsidies, we have challenges,” Jayasundera said. “We can be proud that bold decisions had been taken.”

“We have removed the wheat subsidy. Its benefit is not just to the budget but it gives productive sectors a chance to produce our own goods.”

Last month Sri Lanka raised power tariffs by around 30 percent and has started to raise fuel prices more often.

Over the last year Sri Lanka has been cutti